81st Indian Road Congress: New technologies and materials will be used in highway construction

Lucknow: In the 81st Annual Session of the Indian Road Congress, a meeting of Secretaries, Secretaries (PWD), Engineer-in-Chief, Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was held at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan. The following points were discussed in the agenda of the meeting.

For the 1-NH (O) project, till April 2022, banks gave a loan of 1 lakh 39 thousand 510 crores to the state governments. During the financial year 2022-23, financial institutions have sanctioned a loan of Rs 83,690 crore to the State Governments-Union Territories for other works including road safety. In order to speed up the construction of National Highways, the State Governments and Union Territories have been requested to increase the fixed sanction limit of bank loans for the financial year 2022-23.

2- Under the contract based maintenance system introduced in 2020, the ministry has directed the state governments and union territories to maintain the assigned national highway sections. These governments have been asked to expedite the repair of National Highways through contracts so that maintenance can be done under contract from 2022-23.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in consultation with the Ministry of Railways has finalized a tripartite agreement for construction of Rail Overbridge (ROB) and Rail Under Bridge (RUB). Earlier, these constructions to be prepared under the Setu Bandhan scheme were not considered by the Ministry of Railways.

Recently, the Ministry has approved the use of Ultra High Fiber Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) in the construction of highways and bridges. The IRC has approved the use of new innovations and latest technologies in the construction of highways. These include red soil, geotextile, neutralize, metallurgical slag, phosphogypsum waste material etc. The ministry had also organized a workshop on the use of UHPFRC and factory made pre-cast concrete in the month of June. The participants included government officials, contractors, technology providers, manufacturers, consultants (Designers/AE/IE) and academia. Now the states have been asked to make use of these materials and techniques in road construction and inform them about their feedback.

Efforts are on to incorporate Mobile Inspection Vans (MIVs) from harmless testing equipment to check the quality of

5-NH works. The responsibility of monitoring the quality of data received from MIV will be entrusted to NIC. NIC is also preparing a portal for this purpose. Four states of the country Rajasthan, Gujarat, Odisha and Karnataka have been taken on the pilot project. All state governments and regional authorities were requested to cooperate in this regard.

BISAGEN is preparing the National Master Plan (NMP) portal for 6-MORTH. Data of other ministries like Railways, Telecom, MoHUA, MoPNG, MoEF will also be uploaded in this portal under PM Gati Shakti Initiative. To help in preparation of Detail Project Report (DPR) of National Highway projects based on the uploaded information of land and forest details. Hence the login credentials of the officials have been created on the NMP portal.

7-In the recent meeting, the Union Home Minister had given instructions to repair the damaged national highways and state roads before the monsoon in view of the preparations for the floods. State governments were also asked to ensure repair work during monsoon under IRC codes and special publications. In the meeting, instructions were given for advance preparation for highways and other roads as well.

8- Work is in final stage to upgrade the RAMS portal to integrate NSV/FWD survey data with PMIS. All the States and Union Territories have been asked to give top priority to the collection of NSV data for the extension of National Highways. In particular, the details of those national highways have been requested immediately. Those not covered in any ongoing work, DLP of completed work, medium term contract maintenance of less than three years.
9- About 6230 km long National Highway could not be handed over to the respective State Governments due to lack of NOC. In this regard, the concerned State Governments/Union Territories were requested to expedite the issuance of necessary NOCs for handing over the newly declared National Highways.

The meeting was attended by  SK Nirmal, DG (RD) SS and General Secretary IRC, Narendra Bhushan, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, UP, RK Pandey, Member (NHAI), Dharmendra Sarangi, ADG MORTH,  Sudip Choudhary, CE Yojna, Sandeep Kumar from UPPWDA, ENC. Chief Engineers of LNVs from all the states of the country including Arvind Kumar Jain ENC were present.

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